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Gun Violence: When Humans Become Mere Avatars

A Facebook friend shared a map and article about gun violence in America. She lamented that she's "always dreamed of living abroad and never has that desire been greater than now".

Gun map 500

I can sympathize with her, but not because of America's gun violence, but rather, the attack on free speech by the PC left... (But that's another post).

Anyway, is it really the guns? 98% of the people around me have guns, and there's rarely any gun violence (and very low violent crime). That's because criminals know most citizens are packing heat.

What's changed over the years, in my opinion, is the de-humanizing of people via video games, movies and the internet. People become mere avatars--non-living symbols. Hell, look at how many people lurch around with their noses in devices--while walking, driving, eating at restaurants, etc. 

People rarely talk to one another anymore. They don't look in another's eye. Online, character assassination, stalking and bullying is rampant--not only because cowards hide behind anonymyity, but also because targets become mere avatars--symbols of what the tormentor doesn't like (not to mention, reactions against their own insecurities, fears and projections). 

What are your thoughts, dear readers? (By the way, I didn't post this to argue politics or gun control, but rather, discuss the theory that an increase in violence and bullying may be tied to the objectification of fellow humans--largely as a result of dwelling in a cyberworld rather than the "real" world). 

Note: I do believe it needs to be more difficult to obtain guns, that gun shows (and automatic weapons) should be outlawed and that those with psychiatric histories prevented from buying firearms.

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Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot and Tarot in Reverse, as well as the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot. With her sixteen-year-old son, she created the Boyer Charming Oracle. Currently, Janet is working on her third and fourth traditionally-published Tarot books--Naked Tarot (Dodona Books, 2015) and 365 Tarot: Daily Meditations (Dodona Books, 2015). As a respected, trusted Amazon Hall of Fame/Vine Reviewer, she's penned over 1,200 published reviews that have also been featured in print magazines and other online outlets. In addition to being a Tarot teacher, author, deck creator and professional reader, she is also a frequent radio guest (and former host), essayist, short story writer and homeschooling Mom. Her hobbies include cultivating flowers, tending biota, watching retro TV on DVDs (60s + 70s), trying new recipes (she's an award-winning cook), serving as a Patron of the Arts, photography and reading (especially mysteries/suspense). Visit Janet online at


  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Thursday, 12 June 2014

    I think you are on to something, Janet - but there must be another factor involved which we have not identified, since video games and smart phones are used by people in the non-violent countries also.

  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Thursday, 12 June 2014

    Good point, Ted. I wonder, though, if other countries are as wired as the U.S.--including availability of wireless technology, access to electronic devices (affordability), glorification of games/gadgets via advertising, etc.

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